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The Conflict by David Graham Phillips
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THE CONFLICT

I


Four years at Wellesley; two years about equally divided among
Paris, Dresden and Florence. And now Jane Hastings was at home
again. At home in the unchanged house--spacious,
old-fashioned--looking down from its steeply sloping lawns and
terraced gardens upon the sooty, smoky activities of Remsen City,
looking out upon a charming panorama of hills and valleys in the
heart of South Central Indiana. Six years of striving in the
East and abroad to satisfy the restless energy she inherited from
her father; and here she was, as restless as ever--yet with
everything done that a woman could do in the way of an active
career. She looked back upon her years of elaborate preparation;
she looked forward upon--nothing. That is, nothing but
marriage--dropping her name, dropping her personality,
disappearing in the personality of another. She had never seen a
man for whom she would make such a sacrifice; she did not believe
that such a man existed.

She meditated bitterly upon that cruel arrangement of Nature's
whereby the father transmits his vigorous qualities in twofold
measure to the daughter, not in order that she may be a somebody,
but solely in order that she may transmit them to sons. ``I
don't believe it,'' she decided. ``There's something for ME to
do.'' But what? She gazed down at Remsen City, connected by
factories and pierced from east, west and south by railways. She
gazed out over the fields and woods. Yes, there must be